What’s Going ON Back There? The Ins and Outs of Creating a Web Series on a TIGHT Budget

24 Feb

Because my hubby was home last night, but the girls weren’t, I STILL don’t have video for you today, but I did write a post about how much work I do for you!:)

Have you ever really thought about what it takes to make a children’s puppet show?

(Or ANY web series, really)

I really never did either, until I was in the middle of it… and then trying to create CREDITS?  Nope, hadn’t even thought of all the titles and jobs that are normally filled behind the scenes.  I don’t even know what half of the job descriptions should BE!  And Budget?  What’s that?  Over the last two months, we’ve probably spent a little over $400 creating this show.  And that includes nearly $200.00 just for making the puppet!   (The pattern alone was $60.00, although I will be able to use it again for pretty much any of my future puppets)

Did I even know what I was doing when I ordered the puppet pattern and reticulated foam?  Nope, I just jumped in and took it one step at a time.  Because I knew what I wanted to do.  I had a lot of passion behind an idea and in my opinion, there is no time like the present to jump on an idea!

So… like I said, one step at a time… at first.  Then it all snowballed and now I’m doing a LOT of steps, all at once, every day… and most of these step?  It feels like I’m running before I learned to walk because I’m learning new things every day!  I guess if the saying that learning something new keeps you young, I’ll not be aging at all this year!  And you know what?  If I don’t age this year, that means I’ll get to be 40 for another year, and its been a pretty fantastic year!

  • Puppet Designer & Creator:  Byn (That’s me)
  • Puppeteer, Voice and Character:  Byn
  • Script writing:  Byn
  • Actors:  Paris, Abyni & Patrick (so far)
  • Voice Overs:  Byn
  • Director:  Patrick (usually)
  • Producer:  Byn
  • Set Design:  Byn
  • Set Builder:  Patrick
  • Lights & Sound:  Patrick
  • Video Editing:  Byn

And that is just the tip of the iceberg (and definitely not mentioning all of the research that goes into finding out what type of equipment you need, how to use it and where to get it for the best price!)  

A Few Things of Note:

Script Writing/Screen Plays

If you’ve ever looked into writing, you probably already know that you have to have it in a particular format if you want anyone in the industry to look at it.  That is one challenge I faced with my first couple of theater scripts that I wrote.  I just wrote… and THEN researched and found that no one was even going to look at my script unless I spent hours formatting it.  That wouldn’t do.  I guess I’ll wait until I have enough money to pay someone else to format it for me, because I don’t do “do overs” on the same project.  I’m really bad about that, but I’m too old to pretend I’m going to change now.  Patrick found this scriptwriting software that looks awesome, but its a bit out of my range of intuitive abilities, so I’m going to have to go research it a little bit… and research is my least favorite thing in the world.  :(.

Learning the Ins and Outs of filming:

Learning about all this stuff in a fun way?  You need to check out Film Riot on youtube.  Their videos are “how to” from step one, through being a professional.  Their videos are great for people like me who need stuff given to me in quick bursts, if you’re interested in film at all, you really need to subscribe to their channel and dedicate some time watching and learning!  They have a LOT of DIY videos for creating budget behind the scenes equipment that can save you a LOT.

Photo Editing:

If you are going to be doing anything with photos in which you can’t afford to hire a professional right away, you can find a free download here at Gimp.  It is a free version of a photoshop TYPE program.  Its not a professional program, but it has worked for us thus far.  If you’re on a budget and want to learn a little check it out!  I learned a LOT of tips on using gimp through various you tube “how to” videos.  See the difference?

Before Shot (a photo shoot at a friend's Vintage Clothing Store)

After GIMP editing (This is one of her headshots and she has gotten professional work from it, even though it is not "Professional")

And my own personal philosophy don’t wait until you have everything fit neatly together in a little box, because if you do, you’ll end up waiting forever.  You can always use the excuse, “Well, I would, but I don’t have a good enough… ” or whatever.  The time is now!  Take a step and create.  Whatever it is.  You want to write?  Sit and start writing.  Just write notes and ideas as they come to mind if you need to.  That’s how I started my first script and book… just jotting down notes during my son’s basketball practice.

If creativity is your thing, don’t let anything stop you.  If all you have is a pencil and a notebook… that will work!  You don’t need anything fancy to create!  

Let me know what you’re working on!

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